Zoo an­i­mals con­trib­ute to science even in death

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - JAMES PASLEY

Even in death Auck­land Zoo’s high pro­file an­i­mals con­tinue to help an­i­mal con­ser­va­tion.

In Au­gust the Zoo put down Su­ma­tran tiger Jaka af­ter vets found a large in­op­er­a­ble tu­mour in his in­tes­tine. In April el­derly gi­raffe Zab­ulu, fa­ther to 15 gi­raffe calves, died af­ter fall­ing ill and last year mother and son hip­pos Faith and Fudge passed away.

Auck­land Zoo spends just un­der $2000 a year on bury­ing or cre­mat­ing its an­i­mals once they’ve passed away, a frac­tion of its $17.9 mil­lion an­nual op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture.

Auck­land Zoo spokes­woman Jane Healy said deaths were emo­tional and staff al­ways had the abil­ity to talk about and share their grief in a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment.

The first thing the zoo does af­ter the death is to carry out a post-mortem.

De­pend­ing on their size, some an­i­mals were cre­mated and some were buried. Most buried an­i­mals were buried off-site at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion, Healy said.

In ad­di­tion to its post-mortem find­ings, Auck­land Zoo also kept tis­sue sam­ples of an­i­mals, stored in a mi­nus 150 de­gree freezer to en­sure their preser­va­tion, Healy said.

SUP­PLIED

Auck­land Zoo’s Su­ma­tran tiger Jaka was put down in Au­gust.

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